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Garba Shehu: Why presidency had to respond to Obasanjo’s New Year message

Garba Shehu: Why presidency had to respond to Obasanjo’s New Year message
January 06
19:07 2023

Garba Shehu, the presidential spokesperson, has explained why the presidency reacted to the New Year message of Olusegun Obasanjo.

Shehu spoke on Thursday during an interview on ‘Real Talk with Kike’.

On Sunday, former President Obasanjo, in his New Year message, criticised the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that “the last seven and half years have turned out not to be the best” for Nigeria.

In the message, the former president also endorsed the candidacy of Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) for the presidential election.


Reacting to Obasanjo’s message, the presidency, in a statement signed by Shehu, had said Obasanjo is jealous because Buhari is ahead of him in terms of national development.

He also said Obasanjo does not possess the moral credibility to criticise the Buhari administration, adding that the former president “destabilised internal democracy” and “misused political power” when he was in office.

Speaking during the Thursday interview, Shehu said the former president “failed” the records and achievements of the Buhari-led administration.


“He didn’t do just that. If he had chosen to endorse Obi as his candidate, that is perfectly in order. It is his own choice to do. Nobody would have quarreled with him,” he said.

“We didn’t come into it but for the fact that he has failed the records of our administration, and for this reason, we thought he needed a reply.

“Ordinarily, we would have allowed Mr Obasanjo to just say whatever he wants to say; it never really hampers the success and achievement of the Buhari-led administration in any meaningful way.

“The records have to be set and the facts must be stated as they were. This is why we had to respond to him. Otherwise, we may not have done so.”


Shehu also said Buhari remains committed to supporting Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“The president will vote for the APC candidate and that is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. There is absolutely no doubt about this. The president is a party man,” he said.

“He has been brought to where he is as a party man. He must be loyal to the party and speak to the decision of the party to put forward Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

“It is going to be a secret ballot and I hope the president will do one thing he has not done before — after thumbprinting, display his ballot paper for Nigerians to see.


“It is going to be Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. There is no doubt about it.”


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